- Artist Statement 2008
Artist Statement 2008
In recent work we can see the influence of the Rome residency; the work has been influenced by old mosaic, degenerated fresco and the remains of glorious architecture become rubble. The context of contemporary Rome as a celebrated consumer capital is also present , ‘For Pucci’ and ‘For Gucci’ query the politics and the aesthetics of fashion as a potential legacy.
These optical ‘mosaic-like’ works are ‘like shrunken ‘Brigit Riley''s''’, frayed and worn as if left on the wrong wash cycle’. In the fragmented works such as ‘Blue’ we might also see the beauty of a sky being torn, with colour she creates references to a world on the brink of destruction. ‘Map’ with its old atlas tints, suggests territories in a state of mutation and disrepair. ‘Vintage Valentino’ suggests a past already begun and offers references to both pop art and gestural painting.
The architectural building block pieces are oddly reminiscent of both Guston and Klee they teeter on the edge of perspective. They do not claim a single viewpoint. They appear to be about to fall at any minute.
There is a sense within all these works that forms are mutating , that they are neither one thing nor another. They have no constituency each reference displaces the previous one by offering conflicting characteristics, what was flat becomes twisted, what was pure becomes violated.
- Statement 2007
The paintings are produced through repetitive small brushstrokes .
The works are made and remade, the under painting building, qualifying and interfering with the final colour movement. What is ostensibly one colour becomes complex.
Both the paintings and video''s have a documentary quality. The production of the image is the content of the work and it becomes patched like so many experiences told and retold, like an old piece of material that has been added to until the history of it becomes evident in the form. We see the moves from one chromatic patch to another. We see the seams between one time''s work and another and the possible disjointed aspect of that seam coming apart. In the thicker works some joins are frayed and vulnerable others are rippled and bulbous like a scar. In the other works there is thin overlaying of one chromatic move against another.
The paintings and drawings observe the performance and beauty of making, the politics of production and the humble act of making and repair .
Helen has exhibited regularly internationally and been the recipient of a number of Arts Council Awards.
In 2000 she was selected for a Year of the Artist Award and it was during a residency at the Discovery Museum that she began to work within the medium of video while doing workshops with retired shipbuilders. This has continued to interest her intermittently.
Recent work and writing has focused on the material aspects of colour .
She was selected for the Rootstein Hopkins Sabbatical Award for 2005-6 for painting.
Helen is an Abbey Fellow in Painting at the British School at Rome April-June 2007.